Musings

It feels like it's my birthday already.

We are going out for dinner tonight (Sunday) since it fits in with everyone's timetable, I've gotten a couple of presents early and on Neopets, I've also been spoiled early. Maybe because the actual birthday itself is on a Monday and I'll be working, it's sort of lost a bit of interest this year.

Okay. I'm ending the whole "world revolves around me" thing right now!

After the dismal day on Friday, he brought the presents around early to cheer me up. His parents gave me some gorgeous Body Shop products all wrapped up. My favourite smells too; Mango and Papaya. Mmm. It came with Mango Body Butter, some Papaya and Mango soaps, these neat exfoliating gloves, and my favourite body wash smells; Papaya and more Mango!

Anyone who knows me, knows that the Body Shop is a weakness of mine. If I could, I'd get all of their stuff. I've always wanted to try their skincare things too, except it's a wee bit out of my price range.

Jason bought me a beautiful pair of earrings. I love how well he knows me. They are white gold, and sort of long - with flecks of diamond sparkles mixed in (no, not diamond solitaire bits or anything, rofl, but just flashes.) They are unusual, and not something I would buy for myself; that in itself is a good birthday present,  it's what a present should be. Something that suits the person, but is something that they would not buy themselves. I love them.

And tomorrow, I'll be a year old. Wiser? I don't know, you will have to be the judge of that. I certainly don't feel any different. Who knows. Maybe this time next year, I will have moved out of home, moved overseas...? Only time will tell!

Another Big Milestone. (100!)

Can you believe I have finally hit 100 posts? How amazing!

When I first started this blogging gig, I did it for myself. I've always written in online journals, but I've been pretty blase about them. My scatterbrain always forgets to update, or leaves it abandoned for long periods at a time - but I always find my way back eventually.

This blog is different though. From the moment I created it, I made myself a promise to use it wisely. (Now I have that Simpsons/Star Wars line in my head: "Use the Fork.. Use the Fork!") I felt that updating it daily was a goal I wanted to maintain. I felt that my teaching career was something worthwhile to blog about, and possibly even something that is interesting to others.

But mainly? I wanted this blog to be something I looked back on in a year, five years, whenever, to read about me. My sarcasm. My peeves. My loves. And all that jazz.

Throw in finding amazing websites like Sunday Scribblings, with prompts that I spend my week looking forward to writing, and there is a blog that I truly do enjoy updating and sharing with the big, bad internet.

Not wanting to sound like an Academy Award winner or anything (cue the cheese!) thankyou to those people who read my ramblings. Thankyou to those wonderful friends who I visit every day, and who in turn visit me too. Thankyou for everyone who has ever done a search for "Black Fingernails, Red Wine!" (alas, still no comments!) and ended up here. Thankyou to every Sunday Scribblings participant, whose stories have made me want to share my own. Thankyou to every random commentor, who has shared their thoughts with me.

THANKYOU.

(Now pretend that this was actually the 100th post, seeing as I got over-excited last night and ended up posting my 2 cents entry instead. Hoorah!)

Sunday Scribblings: My 2 Cents

I've never been one to jump right in and share my opinions freely with others.

With friends, yes, absolutely, possibly too much, but with strangers? I tend to passively observe rather than submit my thoughts to them. Alternatively, I find it strange when individuals provide me with their own 2 cents worth - especially those people who don't know me.

It has always amazed me watching those people who are comfortable getting close to other new acquaintances. The sort who can offer advice and words of wisdom, without even giving it a thought. Whose nature is just to throw themselves heart and soul into this other persons life, come what may.

I sometimes wish I could be like that.

Although on the other hand, sometimes I am glad I am not.

My personality is different. I prefer to watch people first. To look, to observe, to try and puzzle out their quirks, their backgrounds, what makes them tick. To attempt to at least know them, before I offer my own suggestions.

I'd like to think I'm a fix-er.
I've always wanted to be a fix-er.
And I get quite miserable when I'm faced with a problem that I can't fix.


Sometimes, my 2 cents do not even matter. Sometimes, I can learn as much as I possibly can about a person, but it still doesn't help me. Sometimes, people simply do not want my 2 cents. And that is fine.

This year, I've been privileged to be in a position of power. It may not seem like a powerful career in the grand scheme of business and the like, but teaching is one heck of a power trip.

I am seen as the power figure of twenty-six children. These are children that could change the world one day. Scratch that. These are children that WILL change the world one day.

I need to make sure that my 2 cents are not all that they hear. They need to create their own 2 cents. They need to develop their own ideas, their own opinions, their own selves.

And you know what?

Twenty-six x 2c = Half a dollar. Just imagine the possibilities.

More Sunday Scribblings can be found here.

Lockdown.

Some days at school are just plain scary. Really, they are.

Today saw our school in lockdown, again. This time it was because of one girl deciding to play hide and seek (deliberately) with teachers running in and out of buildings. After refusing to go back to her classroom, she then scurried outside to frolic around in the quad - and as soon as she left the building, we were put on lockdown.

It sounds quite scary, but basically it's just locking our wings. The school is shaped with long corridors, with about five classrooms stretched down one wing. My classroom this year is on the closest end of the wing to the door, so I generally have to be the wing unlocker, if we go into lockdown.

After we had all locked up? The charming student then went and found herself a big tree branch and proceeded to whack our back doors. (The rear of every classroom is three giant glass sliding doors, no curtains.) Each classroom had a good ten minutes of whacking, until she got bored and moved along to the next one.

I thought our glass was going to be cracked, or shattered.

Do you know how hard it is to keep twenty kids pretending not to see the antics going on right next to them? The kids all did so well though (bar one, grr, just does not listen). Practically all of them understood me when I said we weren't to watch her, she was being very silly. So on we went with our cutting and weaving, blissfully ignorant of the drama outside.

Things like this never happened when I was in primary school.

But on a lighter note, today some things happened that made me truly appreciate where I was. Firstly, D. wrote me a letter. This itself is an amazing thing, seeing as he has the attention span of a flea, but in it he wrote how much he liked to learn with me. -insert swoons here-

And secondly, E. told me she was going to be away on Monday, so she brought me a present early because she'd miss my birthday. Looked like things from her home too, a cute toy flower and a slightly old (and well-loved) little jewelery holder.

How much do I adore these kids?

Multi-tasking.

What does one look like when they combine a fluro yellow vest, a walkie-talkie, a writing book, a pen and a whole flock of kindergarten students trailing around them?

A complete and utter dork, that's what!

Teachers should totally be given a little golf buggy to zoom around on while they're doing playground duty. On the oval, anyway. One with plenty of shelves. And extra hands, to carry things.

Perhaps the golf buggy could be equipped with high-tech binoculars that have special, inbuilt mechanisms that do all sorts of amazing things.

Like the one that "seeks out fights", another that "searches for renegade youngsters brandishing sticks", and not to mention the "finding tackling footballers that should be playing touch only" device. Impressive.

Today was also a special day, it seems. It was the first day in years that I have been attacked by those creepy flying ant insects.

I seriously have not seen one of these for I don't know how long -- Maybe it was the fluro vest, or my deoderant smell, I don't know, but I was being completely dive-bombed. Blech. I'm shuddering even now as I write this.

One more thing to add to that golf buggy.

Mosquito nets. Or "creepy-flying-ant-insect" nets. Whatever works.

Bad Typepad

Typepad is NOT allowed to go changing on me like that!

I just got completely lost when I opened the Typepad homepage. Took me four months to get used to it, and then Boom! Changed! Gah! Now I can't stalk the "Recently Updated Weblogs" page as well as I used to be able to. I still find it amazing that I can waste hours upon hours searching from one random blog, to their links, to their mate's blog, who links to this other great blog and .. yes, I could go on.

So. I found out yesterday when I got my pay slip that I had not been paid for the first fortnight of the current term. Of course I freaked out, so emailed the "pay people" (for lack of a better term) and they told me that I was currently not registered as having any temporary work anymore. They also informed me that I have to get my principal to re-send them information, about when I started and when my next end date is.

That meant, I had to find out when my actual next end date is.

Because I have no idea.

I just sort of turned up on the first day back hoping I still had a job there. And no-one shot me confused looks or asked what I was doing, so all seemed well.

Caught up with the principal today, who told me that he had basically completely forgot about me (ha!) and that he'd fix it all up. He also still didn't give me an end date! I just want to be there until the end of year (longer if all goes well, I am so comfortable there now) because if I work for Term 4, I think I'll get paid over the Christmas holidays - which is five weeks or something!

So. That is being fixed up sometime soon I hope. I don't mind when, seeing as the next pay fortnight is not for another fortnight anyway, so I can live until then. Luckily I have some money stashed, I'll just have to pay board late. (Sorry, momma!)

In other news.

I held my first Neucombeball practice today and I survived! There are a couple of "handful" kids in there, but most are great. They were pretty patient with me too, so I'll tag along on Friday and hopefully I'll be set to take over by next week. Scary but fun. Aly taking sport? My, My, My!

Not much else to say, so on that note.. adieu!

Right, those other 50 things.

... Nothing to say here, folks.

Continued from the day before yesterday ...

51. I totally forgot all about doing this list yesterday.
52. And I'm only doing it now because I have nothing else to talk about.
53. I ate hot chips today and a cupcake.
54. The cupcake was only 3-4 points, but the hot chips were worth about 6.
55. I don't feel guilty.
56. Because I've been really good with this lifestyle thing for the last 3.5 weeks.
57. I'll just be extra wonderful tomorrow.
58. Today my boobs looked bigger than normal.
59. That probably grossed you out.
60. Why would they look bigger?
61. Now I'm looking at my boobs.
62. I got an extra hour of RFF (relief from face to face) teaching today. It was grand.
63. I wish we had an hour off class every day.
64. We are going to be growing seedlings this term.
65. I have absolutely no idea how to grow seedlings in a classroom.
66. I vaguely remember using egg cartons, cotton wool and water?
67. I'm embarrassed I have forgotten how to grow seedlings.
68. I got cranky when I drove home today.
69. Because someone parked in my car space at home.
70. And because parents were letting their small children run around in the street.
71. I hate it when small children run around in the street.
72. With noone watching them.
73. Kicking balls near my car.
74. I am paranoid that a ball will hit my car.
75. My car needs a wash.
76. I am taking Seniors Neucomball tomorrow (and for the rest of the year) and I am petrified.
77. It will be fun though.
78. J. left a jumper here a few weeks ago and I haven't remembered to give it back to him yet.
79. I occassionally sniff it, because it smells like him.
80. Does that make me totally disgusting?
81. I love J.
82. I think I should just get over using letters for his name, because everyone already knows his name anyway.
83. His name is Jason.
84. I finally finished watching Dawson's Creek Season 4.
85. Now I'm watching Dawson's Creek Season 5.
86. I put up an Amazon Wishlist even though I live in Australia and noone will ever use it.
87. But it's fun making wishlists.
88. I have a baby shower to go to in August but I don't really want to go.
89. I probably will anyway.
90. I spent $40 yesterday on two stamps and lots of stickers.
91. And then found out that they stuffed up my pay this fortnight and I have no money.
92. Did I mention next week is August?
93. And I have board to pay?
94. Oh dear.
95. I'm running out of interesting (!!) things to write.
96. I am worried that my friend Hana is still in Lebanon.
97. I haven't emailed her yet.
98. I'm going to email her now.
99. Yikes, I almost mis-clicked and wiped this whole post!

100 !!!

Bye-Bye. Wow, is it sad that I just figured out how to change the font size? Hoorah!

Eaten by a what..?

An excerpt from the journal of E. from my class.

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Miss S. One day she went out walking in the woods and she liked to walk in the woods. She had pet mice but they were at home. She only brang the pet mice to people who were good. She was picking flowers and then she saw a lion. The lion ate her and she was never saw again.

*gulps*

I'm flattered she likes me enough to write a story about me.

I'm amused that she listens to me about the pet mice (I have told them that I will take them home again if they are too noisy.)

I'm liking the idea of walking through the woods picking flowers.

But I'm rather alarmed that I was eaten by a lion.

I'm not THAT horrible a teacher.

Am I?

100 Things - Or Not.

This entry draws from the inspiration of every other blog I've ever read (practically, anyway) where I have seen this done. And because I have absolutely nothing to say.

100 Things About Me You May (Or May Not) Already Know.
Updated;
Er. Got tired. Amending title now.

50 Things About Me You May (Or May Not ) Already Know, With The Rest Coming Tomorrow.

1. I am turning 22 in just over a week.
2. I sometimes feel like I am 22 going on 30.
3. I hate soft pillows, and love firm pillows.
4. I am terrified of the dentist.
5. I drive past cows every morning and afternoon on my way to work.
6. I love driving at night.
7. I have really neat handwriting. Or at least, I think so.
8. I am right handed.
9. But I can also write with my left hand, especially on chalkboards.
10. I really like playing pool.
11. Except I can't really play pool.
12. I do worse in pool when people try to help me.
13. My favourite article of clothing is my dressing gown.
14. My dad hates me wearing my dressing gown!
15. Sometimes I'll put my dressing gown on even after I have my shower and get dressed.
16. I do this because it's warm and smooshy.
17. I could sit and watch my mice run around, or sleep, or do nothing, for hours.
18. I wish my chubby mouse was actually pregnant.
19. I still spend at least 30mins a day visiting Neopets.
20. I have been on Neopets for over five years.
21. If I could go anywhere right now, I would go back to France.
22. And Scotland.
23. And all of Europe, basically.
24. My favourite perfume is from Fragonard, in France.
24. It is called Eau Fantasque and you can see it here. Mmm.
25. Jason gave me my first French perfume from Fragonard.
26. It is called Lune de Miel.
27. My favourite normal perfume is DKNY: Be Delicious. It's very yummy.
28. I usually forget to wear perfume.
29. Unless I'm going out. Then I wear it.
30. I like having a perfume that not many people own.
31. My favourite concert would have to be Taxiride, in 2002.
32. I am still in love with their Garage Mahal album.
33. I went with a friend who hated them, but I didn't care and still loved it.
34. I saw them again a few months later with J. and Jen, and they weren't as good.
35. I'd love to see them again one day.
36. I also adored Matchbox 20, and we had the most amazing seats.
37. M-One was good, too.
38. I have given up on ever seeing Lifehouse live.
39. I would give both of my legs and one arm, to see the Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls concert that is touring America right now.
40. Now I am in the mood to go to a concert.
41. I prefer to write with blue pens than black pens.
42. If I had the funds, I would buy lots and lots of stationary.
43. My stomach feels like death this morning.
44. And this list is taking an awfully long time.
45. I'm going to cheat on it.
46. I think I'll make it only fifty today - and fifty tomorrow.
47. I feel much better now that I've said that.
48. It's really quite cold in my room.
49. I wish my dressing gown wasn't in the wash.
50. More to come tomorrow. I bet you're thrilled!

Sunday Scribblings: Thief!

I think we have all been a thief at some point in our lives.

Even if it is not in the most "conventional" of ways, we've been there. Perhaps we have not gone so far as robbing a bank or stealing a car, but we can be thieves in all sorts of avenues.

I thought long and hard about this prompt, and one thought kept coming back to me.

The idea of being a thief -- to myself. Of being solely responsible for robbing myself of experiences. Of stealing away from the moments that I "should" have had.

It sounds unusual (and possibly doesn't make sense) but I think we can be our own worst enemies. Every time we shy away from something that intimidates us or challenges us, we are robbing ourselves. Every time we stick to the familiar and known, we are robbing ourselves. Every time we run from change, we are robbing ourselves.

I know for a fact that I have done this. Perhaps it is because I have felt uncomfortable stepping outside my comfort zone. Perhaps it is all to do with feelings of self consciousness. I can't say. But all that I do know is that looking back, I realise that I have indeed been a thief.

Do you think that one day, years down the track I will awaken and wonder "What If...?"

What If... I had done this?
What If... I had done that?
What If... I could have done this differently?

But as I write this, I am enlightened. Life isn't meant to be full of the "What If's..." It's all about the "What Next..." And that's what I'm looking forward to now.

Nothing like shopping on the run.

Boots, Boots, Glorious Boots!

Since yesterday was Thursday, and since Thursday equals late night shopping, and since I haven't gone shopping in an awfully long time, and since my mother was also going to shops, and since -- yep, you get the idea. Long story short? Mum and I went shopping yesterday.

Sounds nice and relaxing, ambling through stores, checking out windows, trying on clothes, blah blah blah.

No, not this shopping trip. We had to be home by 6pm (mum was going out to dinner) and by the time we got to the shops it was 4.30pm! Shopping on a time limit = really, really hard. And quite impossible.

My goals for the mission? Pick up my contact lenses, and buy a new plastic mouse wheel. Mum's goals? Visit the new Spotlight craft store. Er. First we bought boots. $19 brown knee-high boots that are really lovely. Then we went to Spotlight. Where my feet hurt from the hard floor, and the weird register girl took about twenty minutes to scan through all of mum's scrapbooking supplies.

Then we went into Rivers (where I found the most beautiful dressy ankle boots, which of course they didn't have in my size). Mum found this other black pair of knee high boots with a taller heel, but she didn't like the angle, so I tried them on.. and fell in love. So I am now a proud owner of two pairs of knee highs, (definately not F-M-Boots - and no, I won't explain what that is if you don't know!) THAT DO UP ALL THE WAY! Yes!

After this sidetracking visit, we were late. I ran into OPSM and picked up my contacts, then wandered off into Crossroads where I got two really cheap casual tops. Then we drove home. Fast. Because mum was late. And we were done.

I never did get that mouse wheel.

(P.S. Today, we named our mice. The black and white one is Penny. The black one is Sally. The tan one is Katy.)

Caution: Beached Whales Ahead!

All I can say is thank goodness I started my newest healthy eating kick a few weeks ago. THANK GOODNESS.

We received our school photos back this year, and I was given a staff photo and a class photo to keep. Imagine lots of oohs and aahs and warm fuzzy feelings about getting my very first class framed for life, memories! I was excited until I checked out myself in the pics, as you do, and noticed that I look like a whale. A rather blonde, rather windblown beached whale. If that wasn't a wake up call, I don't know what was.

I am very sad that I am so critical. I could be happy that my hair is nice and straight, were it not blowing directly across my face. I AM happy that the kids are so adorable and all grinning happily, with the absense of D, who threw a tantrum in the middle of the photo and had to be physically removed. Hmm.

Almost three weeks in (and going strong), I still look like a whale. Just a whale that has lost over 3kgs, but still has a long way to go.

BUT.

This whale has willpower she never knew she had. And she's hoping to not be beached anymore, but instead to ride off into the waves. (Possibly wearing a really sexy bikini. You know, in her dreams.)

What Holidays?

I can't possibly have just had two weeks off, yet still feel so tired?

Third day back at school and I. Am. Exhausted! My darlings are all fine and well-recovered from the holidays, and I swear have grown even taller across two weeks. No pauses, we jumped right back into work yesterday; they remembered their routines and have settled in again which is nice.

D the tantrum-thrower was very cute, but then had a moment (as always) just before I went on RFF duty, so nice to see he still knows how to kick his shoes and socks halfway across the room. It's a talent, I suppose, I probably couldn't do it that far.

Today, the whole school belatedly celebrated Naidoc Day 2006. We have a high population of Koori children at the school, and I'm really happy to say that it is a VERY multi-cultural environment, so it was great fun. The day was spent in groups, with ages ranging from Preschool to Year 6. We got to do the following activities across the day; painting, weaving, an artefacts talk, dancing, hearing stories and a bush-tucker talk. I found it all informative and fun myself, and I wasn't even the student! Thought it would be a nice day to relax (no planning! no classes! hoorah!) but I am even more tired today than yesterday.

But just think; as of tomorrow, only one more day and Week 1 will already be over and done with. Crazy!

Tomorrow, I'm bringing the pet mice! Fun times. I've already cleaned their cage out all nicely, have some food packed up, some spare Cheerios for them to nibble on, all set. Let's hope the kids don't get frightened (they were all really keen, but you never know..) and that the mice don't freak out too!

Speaking of the mice, it appears that my cute little tan mouse who I assumed (wanted) to be pregnant, is just chubby. Her belly hasn't gotten to the golf-ball like state that I was expecting, so looks like I'm happy with just the three. That is all. (I really hope I'm right, and am not greeted by a handful of mice babies one morning when I get to school!)

My Replies (2)

Before I begin, congratulations to Cate for Comment #200!

All of a sudden, I got a mini flood of emails coming through, with questions - glorious questions! You have all made my day, so therefore I shall now answer said questions with glee. Hoorah!

((And school is great, just dandy, feels like I never left at all, what holidays??))

Let's jump right into it.

Jess asked;


What kind (or brand) of tea do you like the most?

I'm very boring when it comes to tea, Jess! I drink it usually with skim milk (unless I'm sick with the flu, then it's black) with sugar. Everyday tea is just plain old Tetley All-Rounders. I do love Earl Grey though, am I weird because I like that with milk too? When I have tea, I like it strong (aka, leave the teabag in for a bit please) but also milky.

I don't like instant coffee unless it's really sweetened, or it's a nice cafe made coffee. I'm no tea connoisseur, but I drink about one-two cups a day, sometimes more when it's cold.

Jessy asked;

If you were locked in an underground dungeon with no way out with a CD player containing either MC Hammer's "You Cant Touch This" or Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby" playing repetitively without stopping for the rest of eternity -- which would you choose and why?!

This question made me crack up with laughter! I could be asking questions like; Why was I locked in the dungeon, Who put in the CD player, and Did I take in earmuffs also? But I shall stop now and just answer the darned question!

I would have to go with "Ice, Ice Baby". Why? Er, because as much as I love the other tune, I think I could not only get the whole rap part of Vanilla Ice down, BUT I could also practice his dance moves. Way to keep fit in a dungeon. I think I would break the CD player though, sadly.

How on Earth did you pick these two songs, Jessy?! And do tell me; which would you choose??

Kathy asked;

As a stepmother of a 17 year old, what would be your best advice as to parenting? Sorry to sound like your Mum but how do I get her to be more considerate and less selfish?

If you ask mum, I'd be the worst person in the world to ask for parenting advice, seeing as I'm rude. -sniff- Actually, I think at the ripe ol' age of 22 (almost) I've only just started to realise how selfish I actually was/am. It comes from still living at home and being able to depend on people more so than if I were living on my own, but I HOPE I'm getting better.

Let me think back to when I was 17; I was just finishing high school and sitting the HSC, and also did the first semester of my university at that age too. I don't even remember it that well, to be honest. Was I selfish? Yep. Was I considerate? Probably not. I think it's hard to get into a teenager's head the whole idea of thinking outside the small box they're in to the bigger picture.

I still have my moments when it's all about me. Perhaps it all comes together at a different age for different people, I don't know. It'd be interesting to find out, that's for sure. And on that note (having completely not answered your question in the slightest, you're right, that WAS hard!) I shall go to Part Two.

Perhaps that one is too hard so I will go with: Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

In 10 years time, I see myself moved out of home, at last! (I can see my parents cheering from here!) Hopefully with a family, seeing as though I've always wanted to have kids young and still want that.

In 10 years time, I want to have travelled to Europe again, possibly lived and worked in the UK for a while like I wanted. Possibly with Jason, possibly on my own.

In 10 years time, I want to have written at least one children's book. Or at least, a book of some sorts. Or writing, of any kind. I'd love to be still working with kids, even if it is teaching in a different setting, who knows?

In 10 years time, I want to be happy, really. That'll do me just fine.

What is your favourite dinner?

MMM my favourite dinner. Would have to be anything pasta, I'm a sucker for pasta. Although having been healthy for the last -counts- 15 days, I'd have to say my favourite dinner would be either;

1) Roast Lamb Rack with Parsley, Garlic and Lemon "Crust" or
2) Cornflake and Parmesan crumbed chicken thigh fillets.

YUM. Now I'm hungry!

Jen asked;

I swear I asked you a question. I remember typing and everything. Maybe I dreamt it. I was only saying I have nothing left to ask, so what do you want for your birthday?

Maybe Typepad ate it? It is possible, I've had several comments show up in the database, yet I never received emails telling me about them. Spooky!

For my birthday, hmm. I want.. a never-ending box of Tim Tams! OK, I just couldn't resist. I don't know, to be perfectly honest. My first answer would be A PUPPY! (like I have exclaimed for the past five years whenever someone asks me what I want) however since that is out of the question, I don't know.

I'd REALLY love to find the final three seasons of Felicity on DVD to buy for myself as a birthday present. I have Season 1, but can't find Seasons 2-4 anywhere in Australia. Hmph. I'll still take a puppy Jen, if you're offering!

Cate asked;

What's your favorite book? Favorite flower? Favorite food? Favorite drink? Make-up you can't live without? Item (not human!) you would take to a deserted island?

Loving these questions, Cate!

My favourite book would have to be Cross Stitch (Outlander, in the US) by Diana Gabaldon. Oh, oh, or The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons. Love that book. I also love Temple and Ice Station by Mathew Reilly. I read too much, I could go on and on.

My favourite flower is a lily, any colour. And I'm partial to roses, of course.

My Favourite food doesn't fit in with my healthiness at the moment, but that'd have to be good old fashioned buttered popcorn; only like the type you buy at the movie theatre. Home-made just isn't the same. Favourite drink, any kind of juice.

I don't actually wear makeup (aside from mascara every now and then) so I think I'd be just fine without it, although I NEED lip balm. My lips dry out way too easily.

I would take my Ipod (with batteries that never ran out) to a deserted island. Or a book so long that it would take me months to finish it. The new Tolstoy book I just bought might do the trick!

And the biggest question: Do you watch reality TV? If so, which shows? (I, personally, am a junkie!)

YES. I watch Reality TV. I used to be much worse with my addiction than I am now. When Big Brother first started I was always interested - but now that we are on Season 6, I couldn't care less. I was always partial to Temptation Island too (!) - trashy, I know, but oh so good. Current favourites are the Amazing Race, Australian Idol, and The Biggest Loser. I love reality TV!

My Replies

I was overwhelmed by the number of questions I was asked. Really overwhelmed.

Therefore, I'll just you know, have to ration how many responses I include in this first post. I don't want to be too overzealous and all. *insert filthy look here* Actually, I recieved a whopping two questions (one of those from my MOTHER! Heh!). I'm therefore leaving the "Ask me Anything" post open. And IF YOU ARE FEELING NICE AND POLITE AND FRIENDLY, you'll ask one. Hoorah!

Now, to respond to the two lovely individuals who DO read this blog. Amazing!

Nutter Scott wrote;

Is this the beginning of a new school year? If so, how are the new bunch of kid-lings going to benefit from your first year of teaching experience?

Nope, this isn't the beginning of the school year. Here in Sydney, our year starts in late January and ends in early-mid December. We have four terms, with two week holidays in between each term to give the kids *cough, the teacher, cough* a break. The biggest holiday is across our summer period, at Christmas-time.

So really, I'm only mid-way through my first year! I still like your question, but I'll alter it a slight bit. Luckily, it seems as though I'll be staying on my "old" class for the term (at least, as far as I know anyway - I am temporary, so the arrangements may change sometime); so I'll have my same lovely group of darlings.

We've just gotten through the hardest part, with reports and parent-teacher interviews and all that jazz. Now it's time to start the term with some new topics, brand new ideas and the rest. So far, I'm doing work on Growing and Changing, Physical Education, Child Protection and probably mice. Er, because I'll be introducing the new class pets sometime this week!

I think the kids will manage well, after us all falling into a routine over the past two terms. They know my expectations (high, high, but not too high!) and my "boundaries" - although I hate putting it that way, but more importantly, I know them. I'm excited to just leave some of the reporting behind and get on with the fun stuff, teaching. I'm still learning, so are they, so it's a good partnership. When I think about it, I'm amazed that I enjoy it so much, as tiring as it is. I think it'll help me with my own kids one day, should that day ever arrive!

Kathryn aka Wonder Mother wrote;

Why do children/teenagers/young adults living at home, never pick up after themselves, even though they have been taught from a young age to do so ????? ;-)

Well, mother dearest.

I was mildly horrified to think you were referring to me in the above question, however after seeking clarification and having my ego soothed, I must now tell the blogging world that you WERE INDEED talking about your other child; The boy! The stinky boy with the stinky boy room! Fabulous.

And to answer your question, I have absolutely no idea! Laziness, I dare say? Perhaps a boy thing? I think that same fault also applies to "leaving the bathroom a complete and utter disaster after the sister has just cleaned it", "using the sister's toothbrush - ack", "using the sister's shampoo - grr", anything along those lines. I highly recommend you kick him out of your house immediately and focus your attentions on your other child. I've heard she loves you, very much.

Please be advised that the above comments were mainly made in jest. (Although of course females do not leave things lying around. Ever. Nope. Not at all.)

Ask me Anything!

I thought I would give this a shot; everyone, please be involved!

Since it is my last day of holidays, and my post would otherwise involve (yep, you got it!) a lot of whining about holidays going too fast, not wanting to go back to school just yet, yada yada yada, I decided to do something different. Instead, it's your turn to give me inspiration.

Ask me Anything. Anything at all! Any question, anything about me, anything about you, anything about anything really. I promise I will (attempt) to answer everything that is posted. Everything! Ack!

So. Are you game? I am! Simply leave your question in the comments box (no, this is not a shameless ploy for more comments, no sir) and I'll answer them in tomorrow's post. Hoorah! Simple, no?

Sunday Scribblings: With Baggage

I decided to do this one as a memory recount rather than fiction, just because my heart is not in the right place to be creative today.

Rewind back to January, 2004. J. and I had just had a lovely lunch (of McDonalds, I believe!) at the airport with both sets of parents, our luggage had already been checked in, all we had now was time. I remember the pictures being taken outside the glass windows of the "passengers-only" area, I remember the tears, I remember feeling so paranoid; "Could I even do this (sort of) on my own?" But then, the time came and we left everything behind.

This was, as you may have imagined, the beginning of our Europe trip together, and even though it was 2 and a 1/2 years ago, it feels as though it were even further away than that. On the contrary though, there are some memories which I feel as strongly a if they happened yesterday.

We had been lucky enough to be given seats in Economy class which were near the exit doors; seats in the row which had no seats in front of them. What did this mean? More leg room! It also meant that during take off and landing time, the crew would sit facing us, which was rather amusing. Those are faces that would make an interesting character sketch, indeed; faces of absolute blankness, seeing as though they had done this (and would do this) a thousand times.

I remember feeling terrible after the plane trip to London. I had started the journey with my contact lenses in, but a few hours into the flight took them out and put on my glasses; the ventilation made my eyes so dry that they hurt. I also walked off the plane feeling as though I was suffering from a shockingly bad cold, so I didn't feel too wonderful.

I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer size of the airport, and thankful that J. had been here before and knew where to go.

I remember feeling paranoid that our luggage (mine in particular) would have somehow been left behind, or smuggled off, or left on board, and all of those other crazy paranoid fantasies people have when they cannot see their luggage. Our baggage was late off the plane, so I sat down in a corner of the airport and ate gummi lollies. When the time came, I remember standing at the baggage claims area freaking out (silently) because while J. got his luggage at once, mine was nowhere to be found. It still amazes me that our bags were checked in together, yet his came out on the first rotation and mine did not come out until about the third!

And then, we were out of the frantic airport, out into the freezing cold air where dozens of buses appeared and disappeared. Thank goodness for J's brother, who came and picked us up, showed us the right way to go, and our adventure started. And what an adventure it was!

Highlight baggage experiences;

# Trying to repack a smaller bag for our Contiki tour, where the luggage weight is lower than what the plane trip allows. This continued all the way to the breakfast area of the morning we left, where we were constantly rearranging our things to make them fit. We were JUST over, but they allowed it.

# Every time we purchased a souvenir, having to do the baggage shuffle in order for it to fit.

# Me realising that in all of my haste, I had forgotten to pack a pair of dressy shoes to wear out to all of the nights out (including Moulin Rouge, fancy dinners, etc etc); leaving me wearing a pair of closed in Colorado shoes with open skirts. Bleh! I cringe to this day.

# Lugging our "Contiki-bag" up Paris staircases which were less than 1metre wide and frustratingly winding!

# One elevator in the whole hotel; basically meaning lots and lots of stairs every time!

# Arriving back in London once again and then repacking yet another bag; this time for our Scotland one-week adventure! This bag had no wheels, alas. Meaning that a duffel bag sounded like a great idea at the time, but oh boy did the bag hurt our arms and shoulders after walking around for a few hours looking for our bed and breakfast. Ack! Thank goodness J. has muscles.

# And of course -- the typical, end-of-holiday baggage freak out. The freak out involving thoughts like "I can't afford to pay excess baggage!", "Last time I was only charged per kilogram over, so don't worry, er, we can't be THAT much heavier!", "Are bathroom scales accurate?", "I KNEW you shouldn't have bought that ____ (insert souvenir here)", "We'll just have to wear layers, it's cold outside, we'll be fine."

All packed, wishing London goodbye, racing for the station to take us to yet another station to take us to the airport - we managed and we made it home, baggage intact. Memories... Every time I find myself recounting this experience, I want to go back so badly my heart aches.


Am I Rude?

I've been thinking about this for a few days now.

My mother always tells me that I'm rude. Quite often, in fact. Sometimes in jest, sometimes in all seriousness. Mostly in regards to other people; and yes, of course I shall provide you with an example.

Mum and I standing in a post office line, me minding my business and mum staring at the lady in front of us at the counter trying to figure out who she is. "Isn't that whats-her-name's mum?" she asks me."I don't know," I replied. I looked too, and yes I knew whose mother it was, some random girl from high school who I haven't seen in about six years. Now, I don't know what this girl has been doing for the past six years, and to be perfectly honest, I really don't care. Does that make me rude? Mum thinks I'm rude.

My reasoning is always along the lines of; why bother? Particularly to the sorts of people where there is no friendship, there is not even a real acquaintance at all. Am I rude to think that why should it be me who makes an effort (which has no real meaning behind it), when the other person makes no effort to be involved in the first place?

Perhaps it's some of my shyness coming back out, but I usually don't have a problem speaking in public or talking to others. Heck, I'm a teacher for crying out loud. I speak to twentyfive people at once, I teach in front of supervisors and bosses. I usually either clam up when I meet new people, or I end up babbling away. It takes me a while to "warm up" to people, but when I do, I am alright.

I can hold my own in most conversations, especially if I know the people who are involved. But I strongly dislike making small talk. And if that makes me rude then, I guess I am. =/ I don't know. What do you think? Everyone is different with their social situations and what-not, so tell me; Am I rude?

And on an end-and-completely-random-note, there is nothing cuter than a mouse drinking water from a bowl, and then cleaning its nose. Cue the "aww-fest".

What a lovely morning!

Warning: This post may contain the words "poopy" and "butt" in several sentences, so, well, you've been warned. That is all.

What should one do on their -counts- fourth last morning of freedom for another three months? Relax, go shopping, meet up with a friend? The possibilities are endless. But seeing as though all I have done is relax the last two weeks, I have a rather large car debt to repay and I have no friends in sight, all of those options were out. Plus, I haven't mentioned it before, but I am in the middle of a currently successful weight loss attempt; I'm trying to get myself under control before work comes back and I lose all hope. No! I will not lose all hope, because this isn't some crazy diet, it's a lifestyle change.... Perhaps I should leave that for another entry.

No, instead, I thought I'd spend the morning with my darling animals, since I have such a menagerie of them and all. Started with Gage (the cockatoo) - gave him some new water, and feed as usual, sang and bopped around like a loon so that he would do the same. He's a lovely bird. I take great pleasure in the fact that he loves me back, and the whole time we've had him, he has been fussy with who he loves. He's amazingly wonderful, and will probably outlive us all.

Then I sat back and watched with amusement as Gage set about tormenting Rusty (the TacoBell chihuahua). These two have a very volatile relationship right now. Despite the fact that we have had Gage for 15 years (?) and Rusty for around 4 years, it's as thought they have only just discovered each other. Let me explain.

Gage is in an aviary which is quite high, and reaches the ground also; picture cement floor, wire cage, aluminium roofing. He's got plenty of room, so he walks around a lot, and nibbles the grass coming in from between the wire.

Our backyard does not get much sun, because of the amount of two story houses living nearby, so only certain spots are good for dog sun-baking. One of these spots, somehow happened to shine right near the bottom of Gage's cage. Aha! Trouble a-brewing.

Rusty has now taken to freaking out whenever he sees Gage. And he sees Gage, often. At first I was worried, thinking "Dog - Teeth - Ack", but then after remembering "Bird - Beak - OUCH", I figured Gage would be able to hold his own. And he can, he finds it amusing that Rusty simply cannot walk past without going off his head and attempting to get to the big white "thing" in the cage. He gives up eventually of course, while I swear I've heard Gage laugh afterwards. (Er, Gage has somehow picked up my dad's laugh, which is rather amusing; he tends to use it at the right moments too.)

Anyway. I digress, again! I watched this banter for a few minutes, while giving Max a snuggle. I went back inside, cleaned the new mice out -- I'm still not quite sure if Ms Fatty (as she is affectionately called) is pregnant or not, but I bought a new cage for her just in case. I'm not sure if I should move her yet, since we aren't even sure that she's pregnant, but anyway.... They have spent the morning burrowing into the new sawdust. One of the smaller ones amazes me by the amount of junk she can pick up and make into a nest! They seem content, which is nice.

Afterwards came my bunnies. I was very interested to see them this morning, as I had introduced two new things to their cage yesterday and wanted to see how they were faring. First off, I finally started using litter in their litter tray. It sounds so obvious doesn't it, but for the past few months, I have been using a litter tray, but lined with newspaper, shredded paper and some hay for them. The litter is safe for bunnies, but I was still scared that I would come out and find a mess or a blocked-up bunny or something, being the paranoid dear that I am. I also gave them some new food, mixed in with their pellets. The new food has more grains in it, grains and oats and a few seeds also.

They took to the litter tray pretty well, except for a few stray poops which is usual. If I had a better and bigger hutch for them, I'd be able to really train them, and constantly move all of their stray poops into the tray so that they learn - but that time will come. The tray wasn't stinky, which was great too. Clever bunnies, I have.

There was, though, a corner of the cage where it looked like one of the girls had a tummy upset; this was what I was thinking would happen after giving the new food. It wasn't much, and wasn't bad, so I cleaned the cage and thought I'd let the girls out today to have a long grass break in their enclosure. Surprisingly, Bella came out first (which never happens, I usually have to wait for around fifteen minutes until she ventures out). She was having a ball in the enclosure, scooting around it in circles so fast that she completely confused the dogs that were watching!

I was worried about Lucy. She's the friendlier and more affectionate out of the two, yet she was sulking away in the corner of the cage and wouldn't budge. I left her there, went about cleaning the litter tray and water and all the rest, until she finally came over. I grabbed her, popped her in the enclosure and sat down to watch them for a while. I couldn't figure out why Bella kept nudging her nose underneath Lucy and sniffing her butt, I thought she might have been in heat, or something like that. I picked her up again, and lo-and-behold, my dear bun had a severe case of poopy butt.

Being the inexperienced bunny raiser that I am, when I first brought the girls home I spent countless hours reading forums and websites to find out about looking after rabbits. Apparently poopy butt can be common with rabbits, BUT they don't like water and can't be bathed. Ack. My darling Lucy did so well though, letting me flip her over on her back in the crook of my arm, cut away the icky bits and then sponge her with warm water. Poor little dear, I know I'd hate it if someone did that to me! (Er, I'd also be rather concerned as to WHY someone would be doing that to me, but that's beside the point.) She was very brave, and seems back to normal now. I just need to watch her butt now, and make sure they are given harder food until she settles down.

So. That was my morning! I bet I have you completely and utterly enthralled. And now, after spending countless paragraphs discussing the poopy nether-regions of bunnies, it is 1.20pm and I must go and eat. Mmmm, food. I do hope it's not time for your meal break, dear reader.

Squeak.

Today will just include a short post, because the holidays are almost over and because I still have a rather large amount of television to watch.

But, oh faithful blog readers, I just had to tell you my newest pet addition! I'm now a momma of three baby girl mice! When I say baby, I don't mean no fur or eyes closed or anything like that, but they are quite young and small. And very adorable. The smell of sawdust and fur is so lovely, it reminds me of when I was younger and we had pet mice then.

I don't understand why people are afraid of mice. Pet ones, anyhow. Yes, wild mice with diseases can be sort of creepy, but pet mice? They're lovely!

I have not taken any pictures yet, because the mice wouldn't stop moving so all I got was blur. But I will endeavour to keep trying. I sort of have a favourite (bad, isn't it?), but she's only a favourite because she is the tamest out of the three - as in, she will come straight into your hand and usually let you pick her up fastest. She's tiny, and she's black and white speckled. I also have a plain black mouse, with a black tail with a white tip. And lastly, I have a beautiful tan mouse, who is a big bigger than the other two girls, and has the most lovely black/brown eyes. She's very nervous though - and mum has predicted she's pregnant, since she looks round. I can't decide if she's just fat, though. It's hard to tell, even though I spent the afternoon looking up websites.

Oh, er, and they sort of aren't just for me. I bought them to use in the classroom, as pets. I'm going to talk to the kids about them on the first day there, and decide if it's appopriate. I don't want any of my kids freaking out or behind afraid or anything. I'll just gradually introduce them and see how it goes. They'll stay in my storeroom (all opened, not enclosed) overnight, I can change their food and water before school starts, and bring them home with me on weekends. Or with the kids too, whichever works. I haven't named them either (they're all chooks to me) because I thought the class might want to do that.

I love animals!

Because I am helpful.

This is a post to all of you Eskimo Joe and Stabilo fans out there.

Yes, you. The people who keep ending up here from doing countless Google seaches. The people searching for lyrics, and for meanings behind song lyrics and all the rest. Without being able to scroll back through a pretty big number of page view statistics, I can guess to say that probably 20% of my page views come from you! Oh, how I wish you would comment!

Those unfortunate people who end up at this blog, seeking answers to these important questions, yet are instead greeted with the ramblings of moi. My apologies. This is a post for you.

I will start with Stabilo, because I am still very, very addicted to Flawed Design (click click and you shall find lyrics). And now, to draw those same very people into this blog again, here is a quick excerpt. I am writing for an audience, you see.

Now, I'm having trouble differentiating
between what I want and what I need
to make me happy.
So instead of thinking I just stop
before I have the chance to contemplate the
consequences of action.


'Cuz I lie, not because I want to,
But I seem to need to all the time,
Yeah, I lie and I don't even know it;
Maybe this is all a part of my flawed design.


Now. The song is called Flawed Design by Stabilo. It is featured on the album Happiness And Disaster. I google-searched "What does Flawed Design by Stabilo mean?" (and find it amusing to see my blog ranked seventh from the top, teehee) and came up with this nifty number from Amazon.com's album review.

"The rockier first single
"Flawed Design" showcases the lads' clever lyrics via a track that
describes the type of internal dialogue that would run through the head
of an emotional manipulator
."


For more information, here is the band's official website.

And now, on to Eskimo Joe. This particular song gets more page hits than any other lyric, possibly because it is so new and possibly because most people (like myself) couldn't understand what the words were, and what the meaning behind the song was. I know the words now, but I still don't know the actual meanings, BUT the drum beat and musical parts of the song are what draws me in. I can't listen to it without tapping my foot (and sometimes head) along to the music. Anywho. The song is Black Fingernails, Red Wine (also with lyrics - hoorah!). Again, I shall provide some shortened lyrics.

Black fingernails, red wine - I wanna make you, all mine.
A lot of people, under ground
You wanna get there, you gotta go straight down

There?s a culture, everywhere
- Smoke clouds, hang in the air

So loud, can?t hear you talk

You and I, should take a walk downtown


The argument over God continues, in this house
All of us stand and point our fingers, at the ground

The argument overall continues, in this house
All of us stand and point our fingers, straight down.


Now. The song is called Black Fingernails Red Wine and it is performed by Eskimo Joe. Yes, they are an Australian band, and yes, this song is from their new album, also called Black Fingernails Red Wine. This time, I google-searched "What does Black Fingernails Red Wine by Eskimo Joe mean?" (and ooh, there I am at number four!) and it seems as though most people don't really have a clue as to what it means. Er, right here is an excerpt from a band member, explaining where the song came from.

"In all honesty I was playing a solo show and I
went to take a wee," laughs Eskimo Joe's vocalist/bassist Kav
Temperley. "That's where my best ideas come from, because I'm totally
stuck in that one moment in time and can't run away and write it down. "So, I'd painted my fingernails black and was drinking red wine, I
went for a wee and was just humming along in my head, all tipsy,
(sings, in a more rock fashion) 'black fingernails? red wine? I wanna
make you? all mine' (laughs). Then the next day I sat down and got
serious about it and wrote a proper song."


So, there you have it. He found his inspiration while peeing. Lovely! This is the official Eskimo Joe website.

Did you find this useful? Mildly amusing? Completely horrid? Leave me a comment and I shall not whine again, promise. For everyone else who reads this blog, I still think you should download these two songs, they are both pretty good.

What is this night?

This post comes from no writing prompt.

There must just have been something about that night. A feeling of dread so great, it provoked countless questions; Questions which should not have been disturbing the peaceful nature which night brings with it. She wondered if the night itself knew what was so wrong, and she wondered why.

What is this night?

Why she was compelled to rise from her perch and await slumber so early, as if predicting something was not right. Why, as she lay nestled in her sheets, she saw countless unsettling images in her daydreams - uncomfortable images which she could not shake. Images of things she despaired and despised. Why was even the very pen she reached for in desperation, the hopeful source of her comfort, a disappointment, when it's very ink had run dry.

Was she not meant to share this disturbing night?  For surely if she simply lay trapped in this eerie state, the worlds would have disappeared by morning. Her fruitful rummaging through bedside drawers returned hope; She began to write.

Why did the residence, that very residence which she sought for comfort and solitude, suddenly become a place of discomfort? Why, in the dead of winter, did the air in the room become stifling? So stifling, she glady opened her window to let in the cold, damp air. Even this did not bring relief. The crisp night air, with its wintery, earthy tang - a smell usually welcomed for its familiary and its clarity - tonight felt uncomfortable, as though it were adding invisible corrupted particles to this already tainted room.

Why were the sounds of creatures howling in the night, so great at this moment? What was it about the foggy moonlight that provoked the animals so? Were they experiencing the same dread that she felt?

She paused, trying to think of a way to describe the evening's events in a way which would not seem exaggered, nor too hard to believe.

It felt as though every sense had been heightened, as though stimulated by some unknown substance. It was not a comfortable feeling, rather an alien one, as though she had no control over her surroundings and was merely a puppet for something greater, something hidden yet more important than her own existance. Every sound amplified, and having some greater meaning laying beneath it. The smells. The feelings. All so known, but yet also so unknown.

What is this night?

An ache grips her wrist, as she clutches at the pen to keep the words coming. She does not want to be alone, she desires greatly to stay in the company of the pen and paper who keep her distracted from her uneasy surroundings. Is that not a sign, this erratic pain? A sign that her thoughts are meant to be solitary, that she is to suffer in this madness alone?

The writing stopped.

I wrote this myself, last night, and this is actually a recount. I felt that same unease last night; I was drawn to bed early but then forced to lie there and submit to an uneasy feeling for several hours. So uneasy that I did, in fact, reach for my notepad and paper. So uneasy that I had to turn my lights on for a moment, to catch my breath. A very eerie feeling, however I hope you enjoyed the result. Did anyone else submit to such a strange evening?

This would be fun!

I'm in a restless mood and feel like getting out there and experiencing some shows or concerts, or anything.

I believe I can blame this on my mother, who this morning informed me that Chris Isaak (swoon!) was going to be touring Australia this year - to which I certainly must attend.

The search for Sydney tour dates came up fruitless as yet, although I did end up searching through Ticketek for a long time, checking out all of the upcoming concerts. U2 are planning a concert, although it's unconfirmed - I'm just imagining the prices on those tickets, though. Not too many bands that take my interest, although Kirby, if you read this, did you know Jason Mraz is going to be at the Enmore? (I'm sure it was Kirby who loved Jason Mraz, over John Mayer, gasp.)

I did find one thing that looks interesting, although it's not in Sydney, it's in Newcastle. Not that far, I could do it in a drive without too much fuss, although it's in the first few weeks of school starting back. It's called The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). I am sure I've heard of this before, but reading the information for it decided that I'd sort of like to go see it.

Basically, it's theatre/comedy, where in 2 hours, the actors summarise every single Shakespeare play. I'm not a dork, but I've read my fair share of Shakespeare, and I think it would be hilarious! I don't suppose anyone would be interested in going with me? I think J. would just stare at me blankly if I suggested we go, I rather doubt an evening of Shakespeare is on his top list of weekend things to do.

And as follow up to last post, Enn, I would gladly like to play Monopoly with you! Next time we come visit, you're on! Kathy - I cannot wait to go shopping and claim board game after board game.. for the kids, yes, of course! I have $70 of money given from the school P&C to spend on teaching supplies. Board games were on that list, as I'm tired of having not many things to do with the kids when they're stuck inside on rainy days. I'll have to check out those games you mentioned!

I am the Monopoly Queen

Nothing better to do than stay in on a Friday night, cook a nice quiet dinner, and relax over a game of Monopoly.

Ahh, I do love board games. I will always and forever love board games. I can still look up into the top of my brother's closet at the dozens of board games and have tiny heart palpitations of glee - which one could I choose? Sure, some are rather lame (the My Little Pony and Troll games give away their age) but some are just classic. Pictionary, Scrutinize, THE GAME OF LIFE (how much do I love that game), they are all filled with hours of gamey goodness.

We always used to get a boardgame at Christmas, still do mostly, which we would open on Christmas Eve and play with the whole family. The most recent game was Cranium, which I love to play but sadly noone else finds it quite as amusing as I do. Hmph.

Monopoly will always be my favourite game though. We have an old version of it, the money is all faded and the cards dog-eared, and I also have the special Australian edition, which is really cool. I saw an advert in Kmart a couple of days ago that had this really nice wooden box set. I want to go take a peep at it. Fun!

Anyway. Back to the whole point of this post.

People should play board games more often. It should not be so hard to co-erce someone into spending maybe 45 minutes of their time playing a game. Games are fun! I need a game buddy. =( Last night though, I somehow managed to con J. into playing a game of classic Monopoly with me. I don't think I've been so excited in a rather long time.

I warned him.

I told him I was quietly (and ferociously) competitive.

I informed him that I was the Monopoly Queen.

The game began. He started accumulating houses and cash. I was jailbait, about seven times in ten dice rolls. I had no colour-sets to put houses on, he had a whole corner of the board game to himself. I was panicking. He was smirking.

Until!

He spent all his money on houses. I continued to panick, particularly since I was getting in jail so much, and that his money makers were all in close proximity. Would you believe though, that the entire time we played, not once did I land on his houses? Believe it! I am the Monopoly Queen. To make a long story somewhat shorter - the tables turned, I whooped his butt, and enjoyed a rather long evening of gloating. Beating a guy is perversely fun.

So, on that note, does anyone want to play a board game with me?

Sunday Scribblings: Hotel Stories

When I think of hotels, I think of two different times in my life.

Time #1: When I was younger.

For the longest time, I remember hotels as relating to my father's work. He was a sales rep, constantly on the road all around New South Wales, and sometimes other states too. When we could, especially in school holidays, the whole family would drive along with him. When I think back, it isn't as though we really had a choice in the matter - if mum wanted to go, we all went! They were fun times. Memories of the old station wagon Fords, the fighting over the backseat space, the activity books that we had made for us to keep us occupied (and quiet!) are still pretty clear.

To this day, something that always jumps out at me remembering all of these trips are the different hotels we stayed at. Usually just little places, nothing flash but nothing horrid either. The best, BEST thing about staying in this hotels? The room service the next morning for breakfast. Don't ask me why this is something that I remember, but ordering tinned spaghetti on toast somehow seems much more exotic when someone else makes it for you. Sadly, the family trips stopped after my brother and I decided we were much too grown up for road trips with the folks. As well as the fact that dad doesn't drive to such places anymore, he flies now. Alas!

Perhaps the one thing that I reflect most upon during this hotel-hopping time of my youth, is this:

Hotel Toiletries.

To this day, we still have a stash of those complimentary bottles of shampoo and conditioner, of body washes, of soaps and showercaps under our bathroom sink. (Possibly the most disturbing product? The Hair and Body Wash concoction. How can one bottle contain all of the wonder products to wash not only your skin, but also wash and condition your hair? Sounds marvellous. I think I'll pass.)

My dad also has a big collection of them which I believe he takes travelling with him on his many journies. And dare I say it, this family has also been known to take hijack innocent hotel towels when the need so arises, and lock them away in the linen cupboard, never to be seen again. Mwahaha! -shifty eyes-

Time #2: When I have travelled.

I have been fortunate in my life to have travelled a bit in my young life. I have visited the west coast of America twice with my parents, in 2001 and 2002. I also visited Europe in 2004, and was lucky enough to experience a wealth of different countries and cultures. Here's to hoping I will be able to do so again in the future, I adore travelling.

It became a given during my Europe trip to spend copious amounts of time in the Contiki bus, wondering about the sort of hotel we would end up in next. After sitting in the bus for sometimes hours on end, getting out of it and lugging the suitcases up stairs was all worth it JUST to see what sort of a room we would end up in this time. Because J. and I were sharing the same room as well, the rooms were usually of a good size. Habit for me was dumping the suitcases on the floors, opening every door in the room, checking out windows, opening drawers, reading hotel information on dresser tables, the lot. It's as though each hotel room has it's own personality, and it was my job to find it out and experience it. *le sigh* Good times.

For the most part, the hotels were just gorgeous. Not too flash, not too simple, just standard, European accomodation. With bathrooms and big showers! Yes! We were lucky enough to only have one real shocker of a hotel, and one absolutely amazing experience too. You'd like to hear about them? Of course you would. Heck, if you've read this far down the page already, why not?

Luxury: Whilst we were en route to Rome, our Contiki tour manager had a phone call telling him that the hotel we were staying at had been double booked, and that we were being placed in a last minute accomodation arrangement. He warned us that whilst this new hotel might not be too flash (as he had never stayed there before), at least this one would be in the heart of Rome, so much better for our touring purposes!

The bus pulled up in front of this small hotel, which we all automatically assumed was ours. However, the tour manager exited the bus and crossed the street, going into this gigantic hotel with rather posh writing on the door. Turns out, we had been placed in 5 star accomodation for two nights! I wish I could remember the name of this hotel so I could show you the picture, but let me tell you this; Imagine sticking your head out the rather small window overlooking the main street, turning your head to the left and seeing the Ancient Rome ruins. Just amazing! It also had marble bathrooms and this amazing old fashioned bed. Not to mention being greeted by staff in suits downstairs, and even patrons in suits in the elevators. We must have looked a sight to them in our jeans!

Doozy: Venice is known for it's beautiful views and it's history and personality. For us though, it was remembered not only for this (and it's miserable freezing cold weather) ((and it's carnivale atmosphere)) (((and it's drunken dinner parties! with face painting!))) but also for it's rather lousy hotel! It was a small, privately owned hotel on the outskirts of Venice - It wasn't on the island, as we had to catch a boat across to get to the city itself. I was apprehensive the minute I walked inside, seeing as though the elevator looked about three thousand years old, and I'm not the best of friends with even modern elevators.

J. and I had the furthest room away from civilisation! It was in the top floor, had an attic roof which left us ducking if we walked towards the window. The neighbourhood itself was absolutely deserted, I don't think we ever saw anybody walking around. Creepy. I could go on and on about that hotel, especially the part where they forgot that Contiki tours required breakfast, and so went about rationing our cereal and toast to us, but I won't. But I simply MUST leave you with information about this hotel's bathroom. For a hotel bathroom is possibly the most important part of the room!

This bathroom was all tiled, had a sink, a toilet and a shower. Er, the shower had no "step". Therefore, when the shower was turned on, the water simply flew all across the floor. It was a rather big bathroom (and yes, it had a drain!) but there was no angling in the floor - the water simply just rolled wherever it pleased. It might have been alright, had the rest of the hotel room been carpet. Therefore, after each shower, we ended up with a large wet carpet patch outside the bathroom door. Interesting. Ha, speaking of memories, that reminds me of the very first hotel J. and I stayed at in England while we were awaiting our Contiki trip to start! However, let me summarise it in saying that we both learned that SHOWER CURTAINS STAY INSIDE THE BATHTUB-SHOWERS. We learned the hard way. Wait? Is that even right? Or have I got it backwards again? No wonder we flooded that room, too. -whistles-

Hotel Randomness.

Disclaimer: Some of the rambling below comes from watching one-too-many forensic investigation shows on the Crime Channel of our cable TV. Mother, if you are reading this, perhaps we can stick to the Comedy Channel while we're eating our dinner from now on?

On a completely random and off-topic thought, have you ever wondered about the sorts of people who have stayed in all of those hotel rooms before you? Was the person who slept in that very bed you slept in, happy or sad? Were they alone or with someone? What were they thinking? What was going on in their lives in the time that they rested in that very hotel room. Did they watch free television? Did they lie on the bed and miss home? The possibilities are endless..

And just what would you find if you possessed one of those blue light torches and shone it around your hotel room?

Perhaps that is something better left to the imagination. Or to the Crime Channel. Or CSI.

First Visit

My girls had their first visit to the vet today.

I was so nervous. More nervous than they were, I expect. It wasn't looking good when they both refused to come out of the hutch. I had to bribe them with carrots. Finally got Lucy out, had her in the washing basket - which she promptly tipped over and escaped from, leaving me in a panic praying that she wouldn't get eaten by the dogs. She also broke said washing basket. After about fifteen minutes of manouevering (accompanied by loud cursing) I had them both out. I wish I had thought to take pictures, but I was too scared of them running for the hills if I turned away.

I had arranged for mum to come with me so that I could hold the rabbits while she drove. But I didn't count on her driving my car! I am so paranoid, I always think people are going to somehow ruin it. I must say, she drove it well. Me and my babies - gah. Not impressed by the grass on the floor though, after I just vacuumed it the other day. I digress. I sat in the backseat with the buns, and Bella was actually pretty calm; she came to me to lie on my arm. Lucy on the other hand, just flopped. I had to poke her a few times to make sure she was still alright, she went into a sort of trance.

Got to the vet, got sidetracked by the Cat Adoption Centre they had there ("But WHY can't we get that cat? He's so cute! He's looking right at us! He needs rescuing. Cats are clean! We can keep him inside! How can you say no? Aw. I want a cat.") and eventually brought the girls in. Bella weighs just over 2kgs and Lucy isn't far behind. Not bad for a supposed dwarf lop. *rolls eyes*

The vet was lovely, she was just temping there but seemed to know her rabbits quite well. I got Lucy up on the table first because she was looking a bit worried. The vet checked her teeth, her heart rate, her temperature (!), gave her a vaccination and then trimmed her claws for me. Surprisingly, Lucy was quite calm through it all, even the rectal. Brave girl! She then promptly scared me by flopping again as soon as she was back inside the washing basket.

Bella I left until last because I was worried about her, but she was amazing. I could not get over the fact that she was calm and snuggly with me practically the whole time. The only time she freaked out was when the vet tried to turn her on her back to trim her back claws, she doesn't like being on her back. We managed to do it sideways though. But other than that, she was wonderful. She even snuggled with me on the way home, too.

I was very happy too. The whole visit, including the good checkup and shots only cost me just over $60. I was worried about Lucy on the way home, she looked so vacant, but when I put them back in their hutch just now, Bella went to work snuggling in and grooming her, so here's hoping they'll be alright.

I AM A GOOD RABBIT MOMMA. The vet said that the girls are in excellent health,
and that it can be quite hard to take care of bunnies properly. I am proud. And also paranoid, wanting to check up on the girls every five minutes to see if they are still doing okay.

Have I ever mentioned how much I adore these rabbits?

And now.. Pictures!

I love this being on holiday business.

Why can't we be paid for this? So far, I have done zero things on my "list of things to do" that I mentioned (or didn't mention?) a few posts back. But I DO have to take the bunnies to the vet tomorrow morning, in a laundry basket, since I don't have a proper travelling case for them. Wish me luck!

I have instead been spending more time outside with my babies of the animal variety, which has been nice. It's been beautiful today - sunny, but cold and windy too, nice to snuggle up with the puppies and just watch the clouds flying across the sky. I've also been instructed to try and get some nice photos of Max, since he is going to be having a portrait drawn of him one of these days.

C.S. Lewis & other rambles

In a random act of splurging, I bought..

The original Chronicles of Narnia DVD (1988). I'm not talking the recent movie that was made (even though I did enjoy that one.) I'm talking the original BBC version - the one that I grew up with. I've been a big reader ever since I was little, and one of my favourite books was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It didn't hurt that we had the film taped from television, also. My brother and I BOTH loved it to pieces, and even to this day if we hear the score of it playing we know instantly what it is.

The DVD has The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, obviously. It also has Voyage of the Dawn Treasure, Prince Caspian and the Silver Chair. Now I have a giant compilation of the Narnia Chronicles as a book, so I am familiar with the stories - but I have never heard of the film versions of the latter three books! I can't expand upon those yet since I haven't seen them, but give me a few more days of relaxing (or heck, even just by tonight, since I can't imagine going outside to wash my car in inches-thick-fog. and I might be able to give you a rundown.

So, the kids aren't as cute as the new movie. But, I adore the actors in the BBC version. Peter and Susan fit well to their characters in the book, Edmund is the perfect little brat, and you just can't help but love Lucy in all of her buck-toothed, slightly chubby glory. Aslan is gorgeous (mighty soft and toy looking) but he was never meant to look rough and scary anyhow. I think the White Witch is fabulous, her booming voice is rather scary. The beavers are gorgeous. What's not to love? (Except the pretty average battle scene where the cartoon animations are fighting too, dear oh dear.)

Regardless, it fits the book well, even if it does drone on for almost three hours. It is split into "Episodes" though, seeing as it was made for a television mini-series, so it gives you lots of bathroom and snack breaks without having to pause the dvd. Put it this way; it's made me want to drag out my C.S. Lewis compilation again!

The whole film brings me to wonder;

Wouldn't it be nice if there really were a world that existed? Now, we don't exactly have wardrobes like the Pevensies walked into (darn modern houses and their built in cupboards!) but I'm sure I could walk into our linen closet or our laundry closet and make do.

I adore the classics. I'm so glad that I bought this DVD - to remind me of the Narnia I grew up believing in, not the modern version. If you haven't ever seen the BBC version, I suggest watching it. It's old, yes, but it's really wonderful, and the characters are so much more believable. It might be because they were the first ones that I knew, but honestly - it's great. You might even find yourself having a giggle at the completely obviously cartoon-animated magical creatures that you spot! Hey, I think it was made in the 80's, give them a break!

I am off now to wish my day away and keep on enjoying my holiday.

So I'll run but not too far..

As I write this, Missy Higgins blasts from my Itunes.

I do adore Missy, although I overplayed her a fair bit when she first released her record. There are still a few songs that are fabulous though, and this is one of them. Today will be another day of reading and watching some of my boxsets, so once again, enjoy some random lyrics that might suit you one day. Plus, her piano skills make me jealous.


Missy Higgins: This is How it Goes.

Suddenly I can't stay in this room.
You'll never sway, and I have nothing left that I can think of to say.
What do you want me to think of my thought?

Bear it in mind, if I cannot believe in me who will I then be?



And so I'll run but not too far, in case you chase me, oh...
But this is how it goes, baby.
I'll get angry at your words and I'll go home
And you won't call after me
'cos I'll be back before you know, you know...


So give me a tooth full of that smile,
And know-it-all eyes you show me
Just to prove that you don't need to lose it.
You tell me I'm your fortress of desire
But is it a crime for me to say my own view
And want then not to fear you?

And so I'll run but not too far, in case you chase me...
But this is how it goes, baby,
I'll get angry at your words and I'll go home

Then you won't call after me
'cos I'll be back before you know,

You know, yeah I'll be back before you know...

La di da di da...........
And so I'll run but not too far...


'Cos this is how it goes, baby,
I'll get angry at your words and
I'll go home, then you won't call after me,
'cos I'll be back before you know, you know...


Yeah, I'll be back before you know...
And so I'll run but not too far...

Would, Could, Should

I could write this post in a very predictable way.

It would be so predictable however, that I already know exactly what I would say. I already know what the sort of comments would be like, should there be any. And I already know that whatever I write will most likely end up in disappointment anyway. Therefore, the Post Who Shall Not Be Named will stay buried in my mind for the time being. Being rather cryptic today, aren't I?

Instead, I sit here and ponder what to write about today.

I could write about the dream I had last night. The dream where my grandmother went missing. The dream where a set of tollgates flooded. The dream where I ended up shaving a male stranger's face. Though since the scrambled dream means nothing to me, I would not go very far trying to analyse it. I definately need to find someone who can unclutter my dreams for me. I always seem to remember them quite vividly, not that they make any sense to me.

I could write about today being the first day of school holidays. The first day of being relaxed and calm and de-stressed. The first day of looking after myself a little more and taking time to do things I need to catch up on. The first day of solitude!

I could write about the things that I *should* be doing, but that I am putting off. Things that include visiting the dentist and getting the (probably several) fillings that I need. Things that include visiting the optometrist, checking my eye prescriptions, getting new contact lenses and finding information on laser surgery. Things that include taking my two rabbits to the vet to get their injections and first check-ups - although how I'm going to manage those two girls by myself is beyond me.

Will I talk about those things?

I sort of already did.

Rather, I'd like to go away from the computer, away from this blog, and outside to begin my holidays. First job? Spending some time with my beautiful babies. Gage. Max. Rusty. Bella. Lucy.

Just A Sunday

Sunday is love.

Sunday = a day of catching up.
Sunday = a day of relaxing.
Sunday = a day for me.
Sunday = enjoying being lazy.
Sunday = loving myself.

It's Sunday! And I am going to start enjoying my life, whatever it is that I'm going to do. Things always seem brighter on a Sunday (even though as I write this, the sky is overcast and grey.) It seems life has settled down.

Conversations have been had. Tears have been shed. Words have been flung. Understandings have been made. It all goes ahead. Sometimes the parts that hurt the most, shape us for the better. I feel shaped, and while I wouldn't say I feel content, I feel at ease.

So bring on this fine Sunday. And the next week. And the week after that. I will get through and damnit, I'll get through putting myself first. I'm not putting myself behind anyone. It's time for me. And it's my responsibility to do that, noone else's.

Sunday is love.

Sunday Scribblings: Two Peas

I used to think we were like two peas in a pod.

We had this amazing connection. The way we were drawn together at all was something only the fates decided. We loved the same things. We felt the same way. We shared the same inclinations and personalities. We loved each other.

I wish I could just link you here. But I won't.

Why do I talk in past tense?

Because I am alone, and I am confused, and I am hurting.

And I sort of feel like that abandoned pea that is left stuck in the end of the pod after the rest have all been snapped free. I don't want to be snapped free yet.

In fact, I don't want to be snapped free anytime soon.

I'd prefer to stay right here in my pod, thankyou very much.

And I want to stay here, with my fellow pea by my side.

I don't want to be alone.





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